Get ready for your intranet redesign: Communications essentials

Kicking-off an intranet redesign is an exciting milestone. Your organization has secured the budget, established the team and the momentum is building. Your new intranet is poised to become the heart of your digital workplace strategy. How do you move from aspiration to a successful implementation?

In this series, we’re sharing our advice on how to prepare for an intranet redesign, focusing on the key perspectives. In our first post, we shared tips for brand and marketing teams.

Now, we’ll explore how communicators can ensure they’re set up for success.

Engage stakeholders to build awareness and momentum

An intranet project can have an impact across the organization. The project and platform may belong to a core team or group, but the intranet content is owned by teams from across the business – from IT and operations to HR, communications and beyond. They need to be engaged and consulted along the way to ensure that the new intranet works for everyone.

Start socializing the project plan early, so people can plan how much time they’ll need to participate. A stakeholder mapping exercise can help people understand the holistic picture of who will be impacted by the work, their level of influence and their interest or connectedness to the work. Keep them engaged beyond the kickoff with ongoing stakeholder communications that go beyond project updates.

This approach of intentionally fostering awareness among stakeholders will help build momentum for your project. You’ll also reduce any chance that stakeholders will be surprised or caught off guard by the work and how it may affect them. Instead, they'll be ready to get involved and eager to share their knowledge and expertise.

Define the relationship between the intranet and your other channels

The news and announcements on your intranet may be the desired primary source of communications, but you’re likely using other channels too, such as:

  • All-company or business-unit-specific emails
  • Newsletters
  • Yammer/Viva
  • Microsoft Teams/Slack
  • All-company meetings
  • Team-based meeting rhythms (e.g., daily stand-ups)
  • One-on-one meetings

Think of it as an ecosystem of information sources. Where does your intranet fit in? How does it relate to the other information channels? You can define use cases and scenarios for your channels to clarify the role each one plays in supporting and amplifying your messages. Understanding the communications landscape will make it easier for the teams responsible for each channel to prioritize their efforts where they'll generate the highest impact and value.

This benefits employees too. By defining what your intranet is for (and not for), you’ll be able to clearly communicate it to employees. This saves employees from having to figure out what tool to use when. Instead, they'll know which systems to go to do work or find resources they need.

Know the scope and scale of your content

Content is one of the heaviest lifts for an intranet project. Do some pre-work to understand the current state of your intranet content, and you’ll be glad you did later on.

A content inventory is a great way to get started on this. Sort your content into big buckets and identify anything you think will be strategically important. Then you can check in with stakeholders to make sure everyone is on the same page.

To determine what content might be useful and engaging to your audiences, get to know the current trends and behaviours in relation to your content. There are numerous tools you can use for this. We developed a tool called Helm Insights specifically to deliver actionable insights that increase your communications reach and engagement with employees across your organization.

Finally, you can pull inventories of your intranet pages and documents. This can help you to start the process of cleaning up content that is redundant, outdated or no longer useful.

Set yourself up for success

Your intranet redesign has a pivotal role to play in supporting and driving your communication strategy forward. By looking at who to involve when, you’ll bring your stakeholders on the journey and get the most out of their knowledge and insights. By understanding your channel ecosystem, you’ll give definition and structure to the teams responsible for delivering communications and employees will have confidence in where to go for the information they need. And finally, by understanding the scope and scale of your content, you’ll be a position to best define the future structure and strategy for your intranet content. 

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